A Post I Never Thought I’d Write

I’ve written over 500 posts on this blog, but this one is definitely the one I’ve put the most thought into and it has been the most difficult to press “publish.”

As you may remember, we have been planning to do a frozen embryo transfer this coming January.  We had the appointment on our calendar and were making plans around it.

However, a few days after I wrote my last post about crying in church when the children were blessed, (and the night before we moved to a new house), I discovered that I was pregnant naturally- without any treatment.

Needless to say, we were shocked.  I almost passed out when I took the home test.  The only reason I even took one was so I could stop thinking that maybe I was pregnant.  Because after all, I’d never seen a positive home test so why would this one be any different if we weren’t even trying?  My husband didn’t believe it and made me take four different tests.

I will save you the details, but two betas later that week confirmed the pregnancy and I am now currently almost 10 weeks.

Honestly, one of the first thoughts that came to mind was, “How will I tell those who are still waiting?”  Because it doesn’t seem fair.  So many times I was on the other side the screen reading words like I’m writing.  Just wondering when it would be my turn.  Rolling my eyes at people who “weren’t even trying.”  And yet here I am.

We are overjoyed and thrilled, of course.  Yet there is also an awkwardness.  A feeling of survivor’s guilt, almost.  I have talked to some other women who have found themselves in similar situations and they experienced similar feelings.  (I’m not asking for sympathy, of course, but just trying to be honest about the mix of emotions that pregnancy after infertility brings).

I set private messages to many of you over the past few days, giving you a heads-up so this blog post wasn’t a complete surprise.  If you feel like you should’ve received one of those private messages from me but didn’t, please accept my apologies.  You weren’t left out intentionally.

As it was with my IVF pregnancy, this won’t change anything about my blog.  This will not become a mom blog.  I will not post bump pictures or ultrasound pictures.  I may post brief updates occasionally, but I’ll always give a warning at the beginning of the post.  This will remain a space whose main purpose is to encourage women who are waiting.

Much love and hugs to those of you who are still waiting.  I understand if you need to move on from this blog, but I pray those of who stay will continue to find hope and encouragement.

Triggers: And I Don’t Mean HCG Shots

This morning we went to a different church in order to support a friend on staff there.

The pastor came onstage after the worship music ended. He started talking about how children are a special part of the church family. He asked the congregation to stand as the children were dismissed to Sunday School and to read aloud special blessing for them. The blessing emphasized that children are welcome in the church, their specialness, and the church is happy they are there.

My husband leaned over and whispered to me, “Can you imagine how painful this would’ve been for us 3 years ago?

Before I even realized what was happening, my eyes filled with tears. I’m pretty sure I swore under my breath (which I rarely do— especially in church!!!) and pushed my husband out of the way as I practically ran outside. A kind lady tried to stop me and ask if I was okay, but all I could do was say, “I’m fine, thanks,” and keep running.

I ended up walking around the block 3 times to calm down.

Most of you know that I had a daughter after my 3rd round of IVF. Her birth healed me of so much of the pain and sadness that I struggled with when it came to church and kids. I knew I was still a little sensitive to it, but until today I didn’t realize how much it still affects me.

Here’s the thing: There’s nothing wrong with welcoming children in church and saying a blessing for them. In fact, it’s a beautiful and good thing. After all, Jesus Himself talked about the importance of welcoming and caring for children and even gave them a special blessing, too.

“People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them”. – Mark 10:13-16

I definitely think the church needs to be more aware and sensitive to infertility in their congregation. Some churches have a tendency to glorify family and parenthood and exclude people without children. But, I don’t think it’s appropriate to expect or ask the church to stop acknowledging or celebrating children. The Bible reminds us to weep with those who weep AND celebrate with those who celebrate (Romans 12:15).

So how should we respond when we find ourselves in a triggering situation like the one I was in this morning? I honestly don’t know. Maybe it depends on where each of us are in our walk with the Lord and where we are in our infertility story. Sometimes I might need to remove myself from the situation and compose myself, like I did this morning. But sometimes I might need to take a deep breath, maybe say a prayer for strength, and put on my big girl panties.

How do you all handle triggering situations like this? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Looking for more encouragement during infertility?  Check out my book, 31 Days of Prayer During Infertility. 

Fall Favorites

This post contains affiliate & referral links. You can see my full disclosure here.

Every now and then, I like to do a fun post that is completely unrelated to infertility. Why?

Because we all need an occasional break from infertility. Even infertility bloggers need a chance to blog about something fun and frivolous!

So, I thought I’d do a “favorites” post so you can get to know me better and maybe even find some fun new favorites for yourself. Here are some of my favorite things as we head into fall. (By the way, this totally is not my idea. I’m taking a cue from Caroline at In Due Time. Be sure to check out her recent favorites, too).

Favorite Book: Unseen: The Gift of Being Hidden in a World That Loves to Be Noticed by Sara Hagerty. I read this book a few weeks ago and it was so inspiring and potentially life-changing that I’m starting a book club so I can read it again. Sara offers a message of hope and purpose for those of us who often feel unseen. She also experienced infertility and mentions that throughout the book. Ladies, she GETS IT, and the message she shares is very powerful.

Favorite podcast: The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey. This podcast is so much fun. It lives up to it’s name and really does feel like two girlfriends just getting together and chatting at Happy Hour. She has a wide variety of guests, but the main theme is loving Jesus no matter where we are in life. I like that she’s not focused on moms or women in a particular stage, but just women in general. I’m bingeing on all her old episodes to get caught up.

Favorite Christmas decor: DaySpring Hurricane Candle Trio & Christmas Countdown. What??? Christmas? It’s only September. I know, I know. But we are moving to a new house at the end of October so I will be ready to decorate for the holidays as soon as we move in. I really don’t like the red-and-green-decor-explosion that you often see at Christmas, so I’m loving the Nativity Hurricane Candle trio and Christmas Countdown Nativity Plaque from DaySpring’s Christmas Preview. Their metal finishes are more neutral, so they can totally mesh with all your fall decorations and then still work for Christmas, too!

Favorite drink: Tazo Pumpkin Spice Chai tea bags.  I don’t drink coffee, so I can’t really partake in all the pumpkin spice latte mania that happens every autumn.  But…. I just found out about Tazo pumpkin spice chai tea.  I’m a big tea drinker and this is my new favorite.  It’s not overwhelmingly pumpkin, which I like.  There’s just a hint of spice that’s not too sweet.  I’ve been drinking a cup of this every morning for the past week and will be running back to Target to buy more soon.  I think I paid $3.50 for a box of 20 tea bags.  Much cheaper than those expensive lattes!

Currently saving for: Plum Paper ME planner.  My husband and I each have our own “fun money.”  This is money we take from our budget each month and put in two separate checking accounts.  One for me and one for him.  We can use this money for anything we want, no questions asked.  This has really cut down on our money arguments since we can each buy fun things for ourselves without feeling guilt or worry about blowing the budget.  I’ve already saving up for my next big “fun money” purchase: a Plum Paper ME planner.  I’m absolutely IN LOVE with how pretty and functional it is.

Can’t-Wait-For TV: Designated Survivor.  I binged-watched the first and second seasons last spring on Netflix and on the ABC app.  I love that the shows has action and drama without excessive violence, language or sexual situations.  Kiefer Sutherland is fantastic as the unlikely president.  I can’t wait for the new season to start soon!

What are your current fall favorites?  Share them in the comments below!